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"Live for the Swarm!"

- An infested terran(src)

Infested Terran
InfestedTerran SC2 Cncpt1.jpg

Usually weakened intellect


Terrans infested with the zerg hyper-evolutionary virus

Infested terrans (a.k.a. infested humans)[1] are a breed of zerg created when the zerg infest a terran with a hyper-evolutionary virus.[2][3]

Many infested terrans were used as powerful suicide bombers.[4] As the zerg perfected their means to infest humans, infested terrans began to take other roles, utilizing their terran technology to aid the Swarm.[5]

Purpose of Infestation[]

An infested terran

The zerg believed they needed the use of psionic powers to defeat the protoss. The terrans were the only species they discovered with psionic potential powerful enough to help them achieve victory.[4] However, most terrans aren't psychic, and even those that are psychic aren't necessarily genetically compatible (meaning they would lose their intelligence and any psionic powers).[2]

Most infested terrans, having lost their intelligence and psionic potential, were used as disposable suicide-bombers.[4]

As of 2503,[6] Kerrigan solved the problem of infested terrans losing their sentience, and could reliably create sentient infested terrans. She would use some as her consorts and generals.[7]

However, their managerial roles were later taken by powerful zerg queens called broodmothers instead.[8]

Effects of Infestation[]

"Half-man, half-Zerg? A monster."

An infested marine

An infested terran is created when a terran is infected with the zerg hyper-evolutionary virus.[2][3] The victim usually loses most of their intelligence[2][9] and sanity, as their mind becomes consumed by the zerg.[9] Most become physically stronger,[10] faster, tougher, and develop the ability to burrow, as well as other typical zerg traits (the ability to quickly heal wounds, receive orders psionically, and so forth). In addition, many infested terrans can explode, sacrificing themselves in a splash of toxic fluid. The resulting explosion has a ten-meter radius,[9] a large shockwave[10] and can destroy small structures.[11]

Infestation on resocialized subjects caused their false memories to be peeled away in favor of the real ones. Often while being infested, subjects will see a reflection of themselves from which the zerg hive mind speaks through, encouraging them to give in to the encroaching will of the Swarm. This would usually manifest as the victim relived their memories or have their resocialized memories stripped away, offering a helping hand to encourage them to willingly join the zerg's collective consciousness without resistance. However, if the victim refuses, the hive mind can easily force its consciousness on the victim and "break" them.[12]

In appearance, an infested terran looks "as if it had been redesigned by a madman who had too many spare parts left over from a variety of species." Growths and tentacles extrude from the body, with ruptured, sunken-in features and festering skin, albeit covered with carapace.[10]


An infested terran

Before and during the Great War, as well as the following Brood War, most infested terrans acted as suicide bombers.[4][13] Most were created from infesting command centers, which would then release the infested terrans.[14][15] Terran scientists theorized that the triggering mechanism for the baneling was taken from this strain of infested terran.[16]

By the Second Great War, the zerg had developed new strains. One wore CMC Powered Combat Suit and carried gauss rifles. This strain, spawned by the infestor, had a short duration.[17] Infestors are known to swallow infested terrans and regurgitate this strain later.[18] Other strains relied on claws.[17] During the conflict, various infested colonists were infested as well,[19] and could be spawned through various means, often in large numbers from infested colonist huts.[20][21] They could spawn in large numbers from cocoons popped by a very large queen.[22]

The heavily mutated aberration was developed by the war.[20][21] They were spawned in essentially identical manners to the infested colonists.[20][21][22]

Following the End War, feral zerg infested numerous Umojans on Jarban Minor. Newly-developed breeds included the volatile infested, infested banshee and infested siege tank.[23] Some breeds after the End War were able to spit corrosive acid.[24]

Other Types of Infested Terrans[]

An infested terran

Similar Types of Infestation[]


Infested terrans have been the subject of many experiments by both terrans and zerg. Even the protoss have taken to experimenting on them.

Zerg Experiments[]

"Infested humans, Carter. One minute, slavering zerg hosts. The next-some kind of evolution we've not seen until here and now!"

- Jon Dyre relates his encounter with infested terran variants to Wes Carter(src)

The zerg were successful in acquiring Sarah Kerrigan, a ghost who had been a member of the Sons of Korhal.[25] The Overmind left her with the majority of her spirit, and she retained her intelligence and even some of her humanity.[26]

According to Captain Jon Dyre, a type of infested terran was used on Ursa, where infestation would leave them upon death and even appear normal while still infested. However, it should be noted that Dyre was under intense psychological stress at the time, and, upon his return to Ursa, lost his mind completely.[1]

The New Swarm sought to infest human leaders and turn them into leaders of their own colonies. Alexei Stukov was their first such experiment.[27]

Kerrigan's Experiments[]

Kerrigan's experiment

The Queen of Blades developed an interest in recreating the experiment which created her sometime after the end of the Brood War. While she did not believe she could perfectly duplicate the results of her own change, which she considered "perfect", she still sought another infested terran such as herself hoping to get "close". Although she specifically sought out psychic terrans, most of her subjects were non-psionic.

Her experiments were usually a failure, resulting in defects in intelligence and even mobility. She and a cerebrate believed the problem was a genetic compatibility issue, and the rare terrans who are compatible could result in another creature such as herself, albeit less powerful. The experiments were important enough to keep Kerrigan from engaging in combat with her enemies.[2]

Kerrigan's experiments finally succeeded with ex-mercenary and (former) crime lord, Ethan Stewart[7] in 2503,[6] although he was less "perfect" than herself, since she didn't want to create a rival. She intended to make him her consort. He quickly became one of her troop leaders.[7]


This article or section contains information from the optional Colonist Missions in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.

An aberration

Kerrigan's experiments continued into the Second Great War. She infested some of the refugees on Meinhoff. There, the plague spread very quickly, and powerful aberrations (particularly large, bloated infested terrans) emerged, but the infested colonists fell prey to the high UV of Meinhoff's star during the day. Raynor's Raiders eventually defeated the plague.[20]

Agrian refugees left Meinhoff as carriers.[28] Doctor Ariel Hanson, the refugees' liaison with Raynor's Raiders, began working on an unlikely cure.[29][30] They settled on Haven but there was another outbreak; the protoss detected the infection and attacked.[28]

Plot branch : Raynor's Raiders defend the colony against protoss purification. (A canon)

The outbreak was contained by quickly isolating the infected colonists.[28]

Plot branch ends here
Plot branch : Raynor's Raiders destroy the infested colonists. (B canon)

Infested Hanson

The outbreak swept through the Haven colony and was spread by virophages. Raynor's Raiders stopped outbreak by purging the infected colony bases.[21] Hanson, meanwhile, had locked herself in the lab, desperately trying to work out a cure for the infestation. Raynor went in there and discovered that she had been infested. Dr. Hanson was still self-aware, even asking for death after being defeated.[31]

Plot branch ends here

During the final months of the Second Great War, Kerrgian utilized virophages and infestors to infest Skygeirr Platform in her attempts to stop the Hybrid Breeding Program of Emil Narud. Later, infested terran Alexei Stukov took command of her infested forces.[32] However, she ordered Abathur to cease all experimentation on terran subjects.[33]


Infested Stukov

Kaloth, a zerg cerebrate who survived Kerrigan's purge of the cerebrates, conducted its own experiment of infesting humans as leaders.[3] It acquired the corpse of former United Earth Directorate Vice Admiral Alexei Stukov and reanimated it, creating Infested Stukov. Stukov was able to interact with remnants of the old Terran Confederacy, who were engaging in high-tech research, including experimentation on infested terrans such as Morik.[34]

Stukov was put in charge of a weak brood on Braxis,[35] a world he was already familiar with. Stukov was captured by a protoss and terran task force, led by Jim Raynor and Taldarin, who subjected him to an experiment of their own; they used protoss-devised anti-zerg nanites to reverse the infestation process, resulting in a living (and presumably fully human) Alexei Stukov.[36] However, this cure swiftly failed on Stukov, reverting him to his infested state as he was experimented on by the Moebius Foundation.[37]

Terran Experiments[]

Sacrifices must always be made in the name of science

The Terran Confederacy stored ardeon crystals tainted with zerg spores deep within the Jacobs Installation. Years later, a deserting soldier tried to steal the crystals, and discovered to his dismay that mere contact with a tainted crystal would quickly transform a terran into an infested terran. He was trapped within the facility.[38]

Remnant members of the Terran Confederacy worked at a secret facility on a means of "restoring faculties in Infested Terrans" and created Morik, a terran they performed horrible experiments on. They also studied a method of reanimating the dead using zerg infestation techniques. Significantly, one reanimated human, Infested Stukov, appeared in their facility. Along with studying the possibility of offspring from infested humans, a few files on such experiments were found;

  • "Zerg/Human Genome Manipulation."
  • "Saving Human Mental Faculties In Zerg/Human Hybridization Experiments."
  • "Reanimation Using Zerg Infestation Techniques."
  • "Offspring of Infested Humans." (Top secret file)[34]

The data was sold to the black market by the Kimeran Pirates. Most of the above experiments, including the possibility of offspring, had little to no chance of success. (Offspring of such unions, if they could even be created, would be dangerous captives and "irredeemably unbiddable.")[39] Terrans of the Moebius Foundation would later capture and experiment on Alexei Stukov in order to advance their progress in the Hybrid Breeding Program.[32]


Alt-SE Cover1.jpg

The following article or section contains lore from the StarCraft RPG, which is not regarded as canon. Elements may be regarded as 'flavor lore' however.

Main article: Mutate

A terran/zerg "mutate"

"Mutate" is a term used for an infested terran whose intelligence has been preserved through the use of terran-devised anti-zerg nanites. A terran force captured a small zerg brood during the Brood War and forged mutates to be used against the zerg. These mutates were taken into the service of the Alliance.[9]

Protoss Experiments[]

The protoss are more interested in destroying infested terrans or reversing the process which created them than using them. To this end, the protoss developed a "radical nanotech serum" which could be used on infested terrans such as Infested Stukov. The serum was successfully administered to Stukov, who was freed from his infestation.[36]

Xel'naga Experiments[]

A five-part xel'naga device had the potential of reversing the infestation of Sarah Kerrigan.[40] Commander Jim Raynor and Crown Prince Valerian Mengsk led a combined Raynor's Raiders/Terran Dominion force to Char, activating the device and restoring Kerrigan's humanity.[41]

Meanwhile, the xel'naga Samir Duran utilized the Moebius Foundation and Terran Dominion resources to research zerg infestation, particularly that of Alexei Stukov, whose anti-zerg nanite cure slowly failed as he reverted to an infested state. He experimented and tortured him for the sake of advancing the Hybrid Breeding Program. The results made him much more powerful than any individual zerg bioform barring Sarah Kerrigan.[32]

Game Unit[]

StarCraft I[]

Infested terrans appear as suicide bombers in StarCraft. They are spawned from Infested command centers. The Infested terrans can deal severe damage to enemies and their speed makes them perfect in terms of destroying armies.

StarCraft: Ghost[]

An infested terran in StarCraft: Ghost

Infested terrans appear as enemies in some StarCraft: Ghost preview videos. They explode much like their StarCraft counterparts. Infested marines were also available (as a playable character class).

Concept art depicted infested scientists and infested SCV pilots as well.

StarCraft II[]

Infested terrans have appeared in StarCraft II as units produced by the infestor. The original suicide bomber concept was replaced in gameplay by the baneling. In the singleplayer, infested terrans were effectively divided between infested colonists and infested marines. Unlike their multiplayer counterparts, neither had timed lives and attacked through close and long ranges respectively. Multiple infested terrans types appear in later campaigns, such as volatile infested, infested siege tanks, and infested banshees.[23]

In Co-op Missions, Alexei Stukov is able to field an army of infested terrans.

Known Infested Terrans[]

"Have you any idea how many infested there are?"
Main article: Infested terran characters

Advanced Infested Terrans[]

Infestation's visage

All of these infested terrans have kept their sapience, although not necessarily their sanity.

Some experienced feelings of euphoria while infested,[25] and in one case (Stukov) felt depressed after being removed from the zerg hivemind.[36]

Mindless Infested Terrans[]

Infested terrans


Jackson Hauler and Ariel Hanson have appeared as infested terrans, but only in StarCraft: Ghost concept art and B canon respectively.


  • The Blizzard Entertainment game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft makes reference to infested terrans with the card Infested Tauren. The card's voice clip when played is the infested terran quote "for the swarm," and the card's flavor text makes reference to the zerg Overmind.[42]


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